Buying a used car is different from purchasing a new one, particularly in terms of warranty coverage. While you can choose to buy from a private seller in NY, dealing with a trusted and reputable used car dealership can assure you that the needed assistance will be available if something goes wrong.
In this post, you’ll learn four safety tips when buying used cars in Canandaigua NY:
1. Obtain a Vehicle History Report
You’ll know if a used car is a worthy investment through a vehicle history report. Auto Check and Carfax are online sources for vehicle history reports, which show if a car is severely damaged or is classified as a ‘lemon car.’ Expect to pay 25 to 40 USD per report, but you can also get a discount for multiple vehicle reports. Used car dealerships provide a vehicle history report free of charge, so click here to find out more.
Protect yourself by learning more about your used car prospect through a vehicle history report, which typically bears the following information:
- History of car ownership
- History of major damage or accident history, showing what part of the vehicle has been damaged in a crash
- Title Status, which includes a salvage title or a title given by a car insurance company to indicate that the vehicle is a total loss or beyond repair
Take note that you need to get the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN from the seller to run a vehicle history report.
2. Hire a Trusted Mechanic
Used cars should be inspected by a professional mechanic before the final negotiation, even if you yourself are mechanically savvy. This step is crucial in ensuring that the car is safe to drive and you’ll be able to use it for many years to come. Make arrangements to get the car to the auto shop. Some sellers require a holding fee applied to the cost of the vehicle, and it is refunded if the sale will not push through.
The inspection should include the following:
- Test drive over different routes around the Canandaigua area by going through bumps, potholes, and hills to reveal any engine performance issues and suspension problems.
- Frame inspection, which may show if a used car has experienced a severe accident, as evidenced by the wheels not tracking correctly or pulling to one side.
- Assess hidden rust, suspicious odors, burned-out bulbs, fluid leaks, nonfunctioning accessories, and overdue maintenance procedures.
3. Check the Service Record
A service record is an important document that serves as proof of how a seller or dealership maintains the cars they’re selling. Checking the service record is an essential safety procedure when buying a used car in order to determine the reconditioning, maintenance, and repair services done to the vehicle. If left unchecked, these services can prove to be expensive when you end up managing them alone.
You need to see the service receipts for the following:
- Change oil
- Tire rotation
- Radiator flushing
- Changing of the wiper blades
- Inspection of brake pads
- Replacement of tires
You may think you can handle these services by yourself and haggle for a lower price for the car, but this decision is risky because you’ll never know if the vehicle has already reached its lifetime. It’s better to pay for a higher price and take home a used car in good working condition rather than paying for expensive repairs later on.
4. Beware of Scams
You might be an avid fan of NASCAR and are excited to buy your dream car at an affordable price. There are many used cars listed online, like those in eBay and other marketplaces, and the prices can be very appealing. However, numerous people have been scammed by making deposits even before physically checking the car. Be suspicious of a listing if the prices and terms indicated are too good to be true.
Here are some safety tips when buying used cars online:
- Read the marketplace’s terms or policies about car listings. Remember that car listings don’t have a money back guarantee, so you’ll be left on your own if something goes wrong with the sale.
- Never pay any deposit without seeing both the seller and the car. Scammers usually ask buyers to pay a deposit through wire transfer instead of a bank transaction to minimize footprint.
- When talking to a private seller, decide on a common meeting place or a public place, such as a trusted auto shop in your local area.
- Inspect the vehicle and check all documentation, including the car title and vehicle inspection report, before making a full payment.
- Never settle for any alibis, such as receiving a photocopy of a title in lieu of the original documents because of an alleged fire accident or an act of nature. It’s crucial to ensure that all documents are authentic or legitimate to avoid major problems in the future.
Buying a used car is a considerable investment, so you need to take the necessary safety precautions to protect your money by ensuring that you get the right value for the price of the vehicle. Running a vehicle inspection report, hiring a qualified mechanic, checking the service record, and having a safe online transaction should be implemented to ensure safety when buying used cars.